Fastest Known Podcast

Coming to you every Friday: interviews with FKT-setters and other athletes in the world of Fastest Known Times.

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Episodes

Once again Chris McDougall finds a seed of truth and sprouts it into a great story - this time the millennia-old bond between animals and humans, and how that connection can still nurture us. And frustrate us, if you've just entered a burro race.

"If you and that burro aren't of the same opinion where you're going and how fast, it can drag you up the side of a cliff or through a boulder field." - Ken Chlouber

The Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Linkup encircles Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Joey lives IN Little Cottonwood Canyon!

"The Rustler Lodge is closed in the summer, so it's just 3 of taking care of 85 rooms. It's like 'The Shining'".

Joey spent 56 days going NOBO on the AT in 2014 for a new Self-Supported FKT, but he took one car ride to a hospital due to injury ... so he didn't claim it. He is not sponsored. He doesn't have a YouTube channel. He just lives the life.

From and FKT on the Ptarmigan Traverse, to 61,000 vertical feet skied in one day, Mike Foote is as skilled as he is at home in the mountains.

But here's question: What's the dumbest thing you've ever done?

"My first time skiing I didn't have skins, so for traction I duct-taped pine boughs to the bottom of my skis. Then I fell into a cornice overhanging a 1,500' cliff."

Listen to Mike's humble, humorous, and thoughtful recollections of a life well-lived in the mountains and deserts.

What is the coolest thing you've ever done?

Katie is from Maine; Germain from France - they both were Top Ten at UTMB, then went to New Hampshire for their passion project, the Hut to Hut Traverse - how does that all work?

They ran the whole Traverse together, with Katie 2 hours ahead of the previous Female FKT.

"I was on 'Croo' for 4 summers, and told Grangier how at the end of every summer we saw how fast we could go between the 8 Huts." - Katie

This August, the pair went sub-4 days on the WRHR, a terrific 100 mile traverse of the Wind River Range in Wyoming.

"I was into backpacking and climbing, then discovered trail running and loved the lightweight freedom ... I'm fascinated by how far the human body can go, and how much you can see and experience."

The competition is intense - how do you start a new running shoe company, and be successful?

"My friend gave me a prototype, and I said, 'forget it, don't even try, you'll never succeed against the big shoe company's. But then I tried them on."
 

"We typically don't talk about the product, we just ask people to try them, and that's what comes back: 'Running on clouds.'"
 

This is a fun discussion with the co-owner of an international running shoe company - get the inside scoop on how this all works.

Luke has FKTs on the Idaho 12ers (9 summits over 12,000'), and the Utah 13ers (17 over 13,000').  A few weeks ago he did the Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Linkup, a gnarly but entirely logical Jared Campbell route ringing Little Cottonwood Canyon, starting directly above Salt Lake City.  

"The WURL is a fascinating route; it took several years for me to feel ready to even try it. I wanted to be able to move not only quickly through this terrain, but safely at the same time."

Luke is very conscious of the “Kilian Effect”:

The Cascade Trifecta, then the Rainier Infinity Loop - Solo and Self-Supported - one week apart!  The Infinity Loop alone is 130 miles with 47,000' of elevation gain. How did he do it?

"I slept for 90 minutes the first night, to optimize my summit to start at first light. Then 21 minutes the second night - because I was too tired to move. It delivers full value".

"There's something that draws out the authenticity in people - there's a shared experience."

This is Sunny Stroeer's second appearance on the Fastest Known Podcast. As a person who not only attempts but thrives on self-supported, big mountain FKTs, Sunny offers honest perspective on what motivates women to try fastest known times. Whether it's the "confidence gap" or "low hanging fruit" FKTs, Sunny talks about what's changed in the landscape of women's FKTs since we spoke to her almost one year ago. It turns out a lot has changed.

Jennifer famously set the Overall record on the Appalachian Trail earning her National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, but is also the author of 7 books, a public speaker, runs a guide service, and is happily married with two children. 

So how did she go 11 DAYS faster than her previous effort?

"I resolved to not set a limit on what I could do - no matter what happened, I would leave the Trail with that question answered."

"I was on the Trail I loved, with the person I loved, doing what I loved."